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How to attract top talent with video

In today’s economy, the war for talent is intense. With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, the talent and job pools have drastically widened, meaning people have more choices in where and how to work than ever before. Attracting top talent to your company should be a priority if you want to compete. And one of the best ways to up your recruiting game is to create an effective recruiting video.

As you’re working with your HR and recruiting teams to fill key positions in your company, it can be difficult to figure out how to get ahead of your competition. How to sell your company to the right people. How to stand out in a way that helps you meet your hiring objectives. As video continues to rise as the dominant communication medium, recruiting videos have become a reliable way of attracting and filtering top talent. According to Glassdoor, job postings that include a video are seen 12% more than postings without. And when it comes to job applications, the gap is much greater. Companies that add a video to their job postings receive 34% more applications than those that don’t.

More eyeballs and applications represent two solid metrics in winning the war on talent. But just having a video won’t necessarily get you there. Your video needs to pique interest, take a stand, and truly set your company apart.

So how do you make an effective recruiting video? Here are three tips to help you accomplish just that:

Create a recruiting video that tells the truth.

Video allows you to bring your prospective employees into your office in a way that a description on your website never could. Video enables recruits to meet the people they would be working with, see what their desk might look like, and experience the real day-to-day interaction between colleagues before they even apply.

Showing the real day-to-day experience with video allows people to get a feel for their potential future workplace and team – as long as the story being told is an honest one.

Your video’s ability to provide honest information (with some polish) is absolutely critical. Showing perks like free food, bean bag chairs, and the office gym, while initially enticing, don’t give candidates a true view of what to expect from their work life. Sitting in a bean bag chair eating a free protein bar starts to lose its novelty when you're stuck at the office at 9pm on Friday night. Plus, it seems like most companies have these “cool” perks now, so the impact these elements have on your quest to differentiate yourself is minimal.

Instead of spending most of your recruiting video talking about the “cool” perks, let your current employees speak/show the truth about their work life. From my experience, this premise can be terrifying for many clients. What if an employee has nothing interesting to say? What if a tenured employee says something that reflects poorly on your organization?

When interviewing a current employee, you may hear something like, “Sometimes the workload is intense.” On the surface, that doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation for your company, but, often, the same employee will counter the first statement with additional thoughts like “...but we support each other and work through the tough times together.”

Bottom line: candidates know that every day can’t be sunshine and rainbows. They can sniff out BS quickly. They want to know what it’s like at your company when the going gets tough (which it inevitably will at some point). Setting the expectations for how your company and people deal with adversity up front gives candidates confidence in knowing what they are signing up for.

If you are overpromising in the recruiting process, and the real experience doesn’t measure up when those candidates become employees, it can cause major retention problems down the road. And your company’s reputation can take a hit when disenfranchised employees leave after three months, bitter and vocal about their bait and switch experience.

Let a diverse group of employees speak their truth. Show a range of experiences. And then let your marketing team or agency bring all of that content together in a way that creates an effective, but honest, video. Your power lies in your ability to communicate truth.

This video, created for Guy Bauer Productions, was cited by many applicants as a reason they wanted to work for the company.

Use your (honest) recruiting video as a filtering tool for candidates.

When your recruiting video portrays your company’s truth, it can be used actively (or passively) for candidates to opt-in or out.

Top candidates need help differentiating between their options (and often offers) to discern which company is the right fit. Use your truth to stand out! For example, if most of your company works remotely, you should share that in your video. Many candidates value the flexibility that remote work provides. Other candidates may thrive in an in-office environment, so remote work may not be as enticing. Honestly showing the key elements of your company helps folks decide for themselves if your company is a good fit and helps reduce the time you waste reviewing and interviewing poor fit candidates.

People understand that your company many not be a fit for them or they may not be a fit for every position or company. It's better to have that figured out before you take the time to screen, interview, and offer a candidate who leaves in less than a year because they feel the job isn’t what they signed up for. Your honest video may alienate some candidates. And that’s ok! If the true experience your company is offering doesn’t align with the prospect’s goals and ambitions then it’s not a good fit anyway. Kindly set them free on their journey to find the right job! And save on your costs per acquisition while you’re doing it.

Create video content that inspires current employees, too.

While your recruiting video should be specifically targeted towards top talent and the key elements candidates look for when taking a new job, they can also be a great way to re-energize, re-engage, and inspire current employees.

Your recruiting video is a testament to who your company is and what you believe in. Often, these elements of company culture can get lost in the day-to-day work life of a long-term employee. If your video is truthful, inspiring, and available for sharing, you can bet that current employees will promote it, and your company, in a way they wouldn’t have before.

To further boost the effect your recruiting video has on your current employees, bring them into the process. Featuring current employees (as mentioned in tip number one above) is a great place to start. You could also have a company-wide screening of the video, and/or hype the video's release with internal communication efforts.

Employees want to be proud of their organization. If you’ve done your job to create an organization worth being a part of, leverage your current employees to help spread the word. Let your top performers help you bring in more top performers. Celebrate what your company has to offer!

But what if your company isn’t a household name, trending on social media, or featured in the largest industry pubs? How can you entice top talent to work with you? This is where truth comes back in. Every organization has a story or an element to their business that is valuable and worth sharing.

Recruiting videos are brand videos – treat them with importance.

Creating an effective recruiting video should help you land more, better fit candidates, save time and money in the talent acquisition process, and re-engage and inspire current employees to be your organization’s best advocates.

Recruiting videos should be viewed in the same light as brand videos - they can drive business on a large scale! Your recruiting video is a tool to attract and land the future of your company by showing them what you are about and how they can join you to accomplish great things together. Invest in this area of your communications, differentiate from your competition, and start winning the war on talent!





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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